How To Hang String lights In Backyard Without Trees?

  • By: Mike Hale
  • Date: September 26, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Hanging strings of lights is a great way to add a soft pleasing glow to your backyard. The ambient light cast by the smaller light bulbs provides extra visibility, as well as a touch of romance.

The usual way to hang string lights on a tree is from branch to branch or from one tree to another. Light strings can also be spiraled up the trunk of a tree, or even balled up like a nest in the tree’s branches.

However, what do you do if your backyard does not have any trees? Here are 10 ways to hang string lights in a backyard without trees.

String lights in the backyard

10 Ways To Hang Lights In A Backyard Without Trees

Here are 10 ways to hang lights in a backyard that does not have any trees.

1. Suspending Lights From House or Garage Eaves

The eaves of your house, garage or any free standing building in your backyard are a traditional place to hang lights (if you don’t mind your neighbors thinking that you forgot to take them down from Christmas.)

If you have an entire bare wall you can drape curtain style lights down its side to provide a wall of light to an area. Make sure the lights are incandescent to avoid an unpleasant glare.

2. Suspending Lights Across The Yard Using Fence Posts

If you have a fence that is over six feet tall and that completely embraces the yard, you can string lights from opposite posts, even criss-crossing them to create a tent of lights over your yard.

3. Threading Lights Along A Fence Top

If your backyard has a fence it is quite easy to simply clip a string of lights to the top edge or even loop it around the fence posts. If you have a wire fence you can thread the light strings through the netting, and even get quite creative with how you arrange them, in circle or triangle shapes.

One interesting way to light a fence is to wrap it up from the top or top rail to a bottom rail and keep winding it vertically to create a wall of light. Light strings with larger, softer incandescent bulbs, like Christmas lights, work well for this.

Hang string light without trees

4. String Lights Along A Deck Handrail

If you have a backyard deck, consider clipping a string of lights up the hand rail and all along the railing of the deck. Tucking the lights under the railing will emit a low glow from the bulb, and keep their glare from hitting the eye.

Note that this may not be the best choice of lighting if you have children or pets that could burn their skin by touching the bulbs.

5. String Lights Along A Patio Table and Umbrella 

Lightweight LED strings of light can be attached with tape or clips to the outer edge of any patio umbrella. You can also wrap these lights partially up the pole, as long as they don’t interfere with the umbrella’s open and close function.

A thin string of light LED lights can also be nested in the base of the patio umbrella’s pole, or even wound around the table’s rim and legs.

6. String Lights Along a Gazebo or Covered Patio

Lightweight LED strings of light can be attached with tape or clips to the outer edge of any patio umbrella. Dangling or curtain style lights can also serve as a drape that hangs off the eves of the gazebo,

One popular effect is to hang sheer curtains and twine the LED lights in its folds, for an elegant romantic effect.

Heavier strings that take full sized light bulbs can be strung inside of a gazebo. The bulbs can be spiraled down the gazebo supports, or criss-crossed against the gazebo ceiling.

A covered patio roof is quite easy to decorate with lights. A classic look is heavier caged bulbs strung in a zigzag pattern inside the roof.

7. Attach Them to A Tarp

If you have a tarp that hangs over the deck area of your yard you can clip outdoor lights to its sides. This idea works best with lighter LED strings of lights that can be attached to the tarp’s edge.

8. Hang Them Off A Clothesline

If you happen to have a freestanding triangular clothesline in your backyard, you entwine the lights up the pole of the structure, and also along the structure’s triangular poles.

If you have a regular clothesline strung from one pole or post, or from a post to a garage roof or house roof, you can string the lights along there.

9. Hang From Posts Anchored in Planters

Six foot-tall bamboo or birch log posts or string light poles can be secured in planters filled with rocks, soil and plants. Use at least three or four to create a triangle or square on your patio You can then string lights from one post to another to create an area of light.

string light hanging in backyard

10. Spiral Them Around Bushes

If you don’t have trees, but you do have low bushes, then consider wrapping them tightly in a string festooned with either Christmas style frosted bulbs or small LED lights.

Tips for Hanging Lights

Here are some tips for hanging lights if you don’t have trees in your backyard.

  • Make sure that you are buying outdoor, or indoor lights, as they are waterproof and able to withstand high winds, extreme temperatures and storms.
  • Look for light strings that have clips or hooks attached either to the bulb or the string to make attachment to the structure easy.
  • Staples, hanger hooks, nails, adhesive hooks, twine and plastic fasteners can be used to secure dangling light strings and bulbs to a structure.
  • Strings of solar-powered hanging lights can help you save on energy bills, or having to constantly replace burnt out  or broken bulbs.

Final Thoughts

You don’t necessarily need trees to hang lights in your backyard. You can hang, entwine and ball up lights just about anywhere you have a surface, structure or nook in your backyard.

Now that you know that anything can be wrapped in a string of lights, or that a string can be hung from almost anything, you can use your imagination to create your very own serviceable festival of lights in your backyard.